Wage Theft – The Basics


What is Wage Theft?

Wage theft is the illegal underpayment or non-payment of wages owed to an employee.  Wage theft is by far the most widespread crime against personal property, accounting for over $19 billon in stolen employee wages every year.  Wage theft goes unnoticed or unreported by many people who think they’ll be wasting their time or fear being fired for asking.  The reality is that wage theft claims are very winnable and employees cannot be punished by an employer for exercising their legal rights.

Wage theft is extremely underreported and is the dirty little secret of many companies and entire industries.  You can take back what is owed to you.  I can help.

Examples of wage theft:

Not getting time-and-a-half for overtime (any over 40 hours per week).

Being forced to underreport the hours you work.

Not getting paid for all of the hours you report.

Being forced to work through breaks.

Getting paid less than minimum wage (even tipped employees are victims if their hourly pay plus tips works out to be less than minimum wage).

Workers labeled as “independent contractors” but treated as employees who get paid less than minimum wage.

You Might Have Options

Under both state and federal laws, you’re entitled to every penny you work for.  Actually, the law allows for you to collect twice as much as you’ve been underpaid.  The law is retroactive so, depending on the circumstances, you can go back as far as two or three years.  Under the right circumstances, wage theft of $2000 per year can result in a claim for $12,000, for example.

Wage theft cases have become a hot-button issue lately.  Many employees who have been underpaid for years are finally getting what they’re owed.  Just last week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that Wal-Mart would have to pay back $151 million to 187,000 employees.

Let Me Help

If you have questions about your rights and legal options, I can help.  Although results are never certain in the legal world, I can assure you that I will do everything I can to make pursuing your claim as easy and productive as I can.

No Upfront Costs – If You Don’t Win, I Don’t Charge

You pay nothing unless I can help you recover.  In some cases, your employer will be required to pay for all costs and fees related to your case if you do succeed.  That means that you may be able to walk away with twice as much as you’ve been underpaid without it costing you a dime.  Again, nothing in the legal world is certain but the laws are designed to help underpaid employees and punish underpaying employers.  Let’s talk about it!

Give me a call, shoot me an email, come in to the office or set up a time to video chat.  I’m available all day and I want to help.

Phone:  616-451-4000
Email:  chris@rodenhouselaw.com
Skype:  chris.newberg1
Rodenhouse Kuipers PC
678 Front Ave. NW, Suite 178
Grand Rapids, MI 49321

Contact Chris for a free wage theft consultation: